THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF U.S. UNIONS IN A GLOBAL ERA: Labour Relations in a Very Cold Climate

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1 THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF U.S. UNIONS IN A GLOBAL ERA: Labour Relations in a Very Cold Climate Dr. Elaine Bernard Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School CRIMT Colloquium on Union Renewal November 18, 2004

2 The State of Organized Labour (mouvement syndical) in the U.S.

3 Union Membership, (travailleurs affiliés à une organisation syndicale) 22,000,000 20,000,000 18,000,000 16,000,000 14,000, = 16.5 million members 2003 =15.8 million members or 12.9% 12,000,

4 Union Density 2003 (proportion de travailleurs syndiqués par rapport à l ensemble des travailleurs du secteur) 37% of education, training & library occupations (éducation, formation et bibliothèques) 36% of protective services (sécurité) 26% of transportation and utilities (transport, eau et énergie) 16% of construction 14% information industries (médias et secteur de l information) 14% manufacturing (secteur secondaire de production manufacturière) 12% healthcare practitioners & technical occupations (soins de santé et postes techniques) 6% retail sales (commerce de détail) 3% leisure and hospitality (loisirs et hôtellerie) 2% finance and insurance (finance et assurance) Source: BLS, January 21, 2004

5 Union Members in 2003 Men (14%) were more likely to be union members than women (11%) Blacks (17%) were more likely to be union members than were whites (13%), Asians (11%) and Hispanics or Latinos. Public sector: Nearly 4 in 10 government workers were union members Private sector: Less than 1 in 10 workers in privatesector were union members Source: BLS January 21, 2004

6 Huge Regional Differences Half of nonunion public sector workers are in 20 states without bargaining laws

7 Restrictive Labour Laws 40% of nonunion private sector workers in 22 right-to-work states

8 Restrictive Labour Laws All of these states went for Bush in the 2004 U.S. Elections

9 Unorganized Workforce, ,000,000 Total Employment 122,358, ,000,000 80,000,000 60,000, Million Unorganized Workers (travailleurs non-syndiqués) 40,000,000 20,000,000 0 Union Members 15,776,

10 Union Density % 40 (proportion de travailleurs syndiqués par rapport à l ensemble des travailleurs) %

11 Declining density affects even densely organized sectors

12 Declining Density Contributes To Wage Stagnation 17 Wages Labor Union Density Source: Employment & Earnings; U.S. DOL, BLS

13 Declining Density and Tax Equity Federal Taxes (as percentage of the GDP) Corporate Taxes Union Density % 30% 20% 10% 0% Union Density Sources: Tax Facts: A Project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, U.S. Census Bureau, BNA, 2001.

14 Union Density & Health Insurance (assurance de soins de santé) 75% 75% of union workers (travailleurs syndiqués) 49% 49% of nonunion workers (travailleurs nonsyndiqués) get health insurance Nonunion Union Source: BLS, Employee Benefits in Private Industry, 2000

15 Union Density & Wages (salaires) Union workers earn 27% more than nonunion workers. $599 $760 Source: US DOL Employment & Earnings, Jan 2004 Nonunion Union

16 Union Density & Pensions 69% of union workers have guaranteed pensions 69% 14% of nonunion workers 14% Nonunion Union Source: BLS, Employee Benefits in Private Industry, 2000

17 Union Density & Public Policy $8,265 Weak Union States $379 Strong Union States $675 $5,774 $296 $486 Education Source: U.S. Census, BNA, 2001 Unemployment Insurance Workers Compensation

18 Union Density & Living Standards Unions Weakest Unions Strongest 13.30% $46, % 10.60% $38, % Poverty Rate Household Income No Health Care Source: U.S. Census, BNA, 2001

19 Current Pace & Scale of Organizing (Evolution actuelle et enjeux de l affiliation syndicale) In 2003, unions organized 500,000 workers. To raise density by 1%, unions must organize 1.5 million workers. To match 1981 density of 22%, unions must organize 10.7 million workers. To match 1947 density of 35%, unions must organize 25.5 million workers.

20

21 Organized Labour in Canada

22 Union Density by Province All Canada 32% Quebec 40% NFLD & Labrador 39% Manitoba 36% Saskatchewan 36% British Columbia 35% P.E.I. 31% Nova Scotia 28% New Brunswick 28% Ontario 28% Alberta 25%

23 Canadian union density in key sectors Change Accommodation & Food 12% 8% - 4% Construction 42% 34% - 8% Education 78% 73% - 5% Health & Welfare 63% 57% - 6% Manufacturing 49% 32% - 17% Transportation 58% 44% - 14% Utilities 71% 68% - 3% Québec 50% 40% - 10% Overall Union Density 42% 32% - 10%

24 US/Canada Comparison Union Density US Canada Difference Construction 16% 34% +18% Education 37% 73% +36% Health & Welfare 12% 57% +45% Manufacturing 14% 32% +18% Utilities 26% 68% +42% National Union Density 13% 32% +19%

25 Canadian Union Premium (coût de la prime syndicale au Canada) 15% wage premium (source:verma & Fang, 2002)

26

27 ORGANIZING CHALLENGE FOR CANADIAN UNIONS (Défi de l affiliation de nouveaux membres pour les syndicats canadiens) Organize 85,000 workers a year to increase union density 1% (did this in 1999 & 2001) Organize 850,000 workers to reach density levels 42% (1984) Organize 1.5 million workers to reach 50% density level

28 Overall State of Canadian Unions 1 in 3 Canadian workers is a union member (higher than UK: 29%) However, declining unionization in key sectors (représentation syndicale en déclin dans des secteurs-clés) Private sector workforce grew by 14.5% (since 1997) Private sector unionize workforce grew by 4.6%

29 Levels and Trends in Union Density & Collective Bargaining Coverage (proportion des travailleurs couverts par des conventions collectives), Falling Density Coverage US 22% to 13% 26% to 15% UK 50% to 29% 70% to 36% Mandatory Extension Italy 50% to 35% 85% to 90% France 22% to 9% 85% to 93% Spain 8% to 15% 76% to 68% Germany 36% to 30% 91% to 67% Dominant Unionism Scandinavia 75% to 78% 83% to 88%

30

31 US Jobs Vulnerable to Offshoring 2001 (Délocalisation vers les pays à bas salaire) 11% Jobs vulnerable to offshoring 14.1 Million 89% Key offshorable jobs: Office support Computer operators Data entry Business and financial support Computer and math professionals Paralegals and legal assistants Diagnostic support services Medical transcription Source: McKinsey Global Institute Jobs that cannot be offshored Million

32

33

34 Growth in World Labour Supply (one big fact ) In 1985, the global economic world (N. America, S. America, Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers, Africa) consisted of 2.5 billion people In 2000 as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, India s turn from autarky, China s shift to market capitalism, global economy encompassed 6 billion people Had China, India, and the former Soviet Union stayed outside the global economy would have had 3.3 billion

35 Cold Climate for Unions Political privatization, deregulation, free trade, restrictive labour legislation/regulation, government union busting Economic trade liberalization, outsourcing, offshoring, work reorganization, technological change, growth in precarious employment Social rise of new right, decline in public goods, social solidarity

36 THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT THE FUTURE IS TO CREATE IT

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